Wintertime

Winter has finally come to our little neck of the woods. Of course, Winter in South Texas is nothing like Winter in the northern states. No snow, for one, and milder temperatures. Our mistress has put out two large round bales of hay for us, but there is still green grass to munch on, much tastier than dry hay! My coat hair is getting longer to protect me from the cooler nights, and there is a nice shelter for Ziggy and I to get out of the cold rain when it comes. Since it gets dark early, my mistress is only riding on the week ends. I like it when she rides me because she always carries nice treats with her like carrot bits or apple-flavored treats which she rewards me with when I do something well. Right now we’re working on the half-pass. That’s a dressage movement when you’re going both forward and sideways. I like dressage, especially since I get rewarded a lot. Ziggy doesn’t like dressage. She says it’s too hard, too much to remember. She likes reining and cutting better.

Losing a friend

Life hasn’t been quite the same here at the ranch since we lost a couple of our friends: two goats, one named Pongo, the other named PeeWee. Death is not an easy thing to accept, and the void left behind at times even harder. Pongo may have been the leader of the little goat herd, but PeeWee, the little pygmy goat, was its heart. He was my little friend who would always come up to me with a “‘Allo, Squeaky, mon ami. ‘ow are you today?” He tried to teach me French, but I never seemed to get past “Bonjour” and “Aurevoir”. There are only three now, but I think our Mistress is thinking of getting two maybe three more in Spring. I hope there is another PeeWee among them.

Worms!

Last time I posted I wrote about the importance of the Coggins test. Today I want to write about the importance of deworming. Yesterday the farrier came to trim Squeaky’s hooves and mine (he comes every 8 weeks), so it was time again for us to get our dose of dewormer. Our mistress has us on the rotational dewormer program similar to the one used in a study by Texas Tech, which seems to be working quite well for us. Starting with fenbendazole in January, then moxidectin in March, pyrantel in May, and ivermectin in July. September starts the rotation again. Neither of us likes being “pasted”, but we understand that it helps to keep us healthy and rid of those nasty parasites which, if allowed to get out of control, can cause not only bad colics, but death.